Monday, December 19, 2011

A Christmas Token

Dear Lord, my heart is breaking that I can't even afford to buy my kids in Sunday School a little gift for Christmas. Father, I have chosen You and Your ways again, and I'm going to have to learn to trust You if I'm going to survive and thrive in this renewed life. I know this. Still, how can I teach them by example how to give if I can't give just a small token? They are so small and innocent, just 2 and 3 years old, Father; but then You know all of this. PEACE on Earth You say. You, Whose name is Breath. "Breathe, Gina...breathe Me in. Breathe in peace, breathe out worry. Someone else is taking care of them. I AM." As she concentrated on exhaling the stress, giving it to the One Who could take it, she continued dusting the furniture in their cozy first home.

Gina had known for a while now that it's truly more blessed to give than to receive. First, she had been reckless with her finances, making it impossible to even give her parents and sister anything for Christmas a few years back. The sad and sick feeling that started to make her stomach churn and squeeze out the tears made the bright and beautiful season of joy she had always loved, crushing and shaming. How would she face them with nothing substantial to represent how much she really loved them and her new brother-in-law?

What a sweet surprise it had been that Rick and Stacy had ended up together! When the childhood friends finally admitted romantic feelings for each other during High School, it was still a bit of a puzzle for the analytical Gina to figure out. They were absolute opposites…a perfect, complimentary fit. Stacey was going to need someone like him, almost like herself, her big sister. Now that they were both married, it gave her hope that she and her own husband would weather the storms they had gone through in their shorter marriage.

Just as Gina had brought her own debt to their budget, he had brought his impulsive spending done “for her”. Money was tight, it’s rare when it’s not, and Gina’s husband had “surprised” her with several major decisions without so much as a “how about we…?” For some reason, he was not at all happy that she had recently decided to take their little boy to church and raise him to know the Lord. Oh, he said he believed in God; but he had experienced so much confusion and deep pain in his young, just barely 30-year life. She prayed, “Lord, help him to understand that our son’s eternity is at stake, even if he won’t recognize how he needs You himself.”

As a teenager, she had learned that “without faith it is impossible to please God” and “faith without works is dead”. She had always been a do-er…a classic over-achiever. So when she heard there was a need of teachers for the little ones, she saw a way to try and please God while serving “the least of these”. Now she was stuck between trying to please God and please, or not dis-please her husband by asking for a few dollars for a small treat for them. She would probably hear, “I can’t give you any more until next payday”. It was the same every payday. So Gina kept on doing what her hands found to do, and silently thanked the Lord for her little home, asked Him to keep her Police Officer husband safe and to prepare the best possible future for their son.

When she came to the bookcase, Gina lifted the blue and white Chinese ginger jar to dust beneath it. As she went to set it back down, she wondered what might be inside. She lifted the little round top and there was a five dollar bill. Now she knew for certain that no matter what the future would hold for her and her little family, she would always find enough to share. Her Father and the childrens' is One and the Same. The tears that sprung up in her eyes this time made her feel like a shimmering, twinkle-lit fountain.

Psalm 50:10 “For every beast of the forest is Mine,

The cattle on a thousand hills.

11 “I know every bird of the mountains,

And everything that moves in the field is [d]Mine.

12 “If I were hungry I would not tell you,

For the world is Mine, and [e]all it contains.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lawbreakers and Lovers - Act II or Do What You Want

This post isn't so much about Lovers, but more about Lawbreakers, delight, life goals and personal desires. It's not as much about rules and what God doesn't want, but what He does.

Maybe you don't really care what God wants. Still, I think you'll find it interesting whether you are a believer in Him or wonder such things as, "If there is a God, and He's supposedly good, why does He allow suffering?"

Here's love from me to you!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A really great day

Hello again!

Today was the day for our free carpet cleaning. Truth be told, it was bartered. Our nice cleaner knows all we've been through in the last few years, so he offered in exchange for us placing flyers around some neighborhoods. That worked in nicely with Michael's job selling roofing.

I order to be out of the house, we went out for Einstein's Bagels this morning with our coupon for 1/2 off. Then we headed over to spend the day with Erin and Brian, our newlyweds.

Aren't they sweet?

We watched a great movie - Charlie St. Cloud, then Erin and I went to pick up burger fixings. Oh, how I've looked forward to a day like this! Spending time with my adult kids is one of my most treasured activities. I am so very thankful that Erin and Brian are settling in, and close by. Those of you with children know that the years fly by all too quickly when they're young. We are truly blessed.

Here's a shot of our nice, clean carpets.

While we were there, Erin made us a CD of their wedding pics, so we came home and enjoyed seeing what fun we all had with SNOW on May 1st, remembering how everyone pitched in and punted to make it a wonderful beginning to their lives together.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lawbreakers and Lovers

"Your law is my delight" (Psalm 119:77). Every one redeemed of the Lord should now find that their "delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law (they) meditate day and night" (Psalm 1:2).  Most people have standards that keep them from exhibiting behaviors like those seen in the Caylee Anthony case, child-molesting religious figures, Rupert Murdoch, terrorists, etc., etc. But delight in God's law? That's pushing things.

Most of us occasionally feel trapped, anxious, powerless, discontented if not poor, unloved, hopeless, lonely, judged, betrayed, tired, left out, or fearful. More and more people are feeling miserable every day. A lot of people seem as if they're just, well...cursed. We'd much rather experience freedom, peace, power, contentment, generosity, unconditional love, hope, loving and trusting marriages and relationships with family and friends, acceptance, rest, a positive outlook.

What if you knew that following God's law guaranteed you would experience these? That certainly would be delightful! I'm not saying that nothing bad ever happens, and neither does God in His word. If we're completely honest, we must admit that we sometimes bring this negative stuff on ourselves; and what other people choose to do is beyond our control. My experience has been that even in the midst of some pretty negative stuff, we can have peace, acceptance and all the rest to make life more than bearable...abundant, even!

How, you ask, do you get this, Deb?

Here's a little exercise to help ease your summer boredom. Get your Bible or and go to Exodus chapter 20. See if you can find mention of the things listed above. Keep in mind that each negative has a positive opposite. Really think about (meditate on) what's being said. Meditate a little more.

There is a law that supersedes all of these. That's right, it's the law of love. You'll find it in Deuteronomy 6:5 and again, spoken by the One Who fulfilled it in Luke 10:27. If you love the Lord, love Him more deeply. If you've never considered it, I pray that He and His law will become a delight to you.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sandiago's at the Tram

Oh. my. GOODNESS!...and I mean that literally! If you saw my post in Whatcha Need about the certificates, you'll be up to speed. We had a delightful surprise visiting Sandiago's for the first time since moving to Albuquerque almost 20 years ago. We went expecting to use our certificate. The wait was a little long, but my Sandia (Spanish for watermelon) Sunset Margarita made the wait worth it. Several wait staff and the owner continued to check on us and offer little extras like plain chopped tomatoes for Michael who can no longer eat anything spicy. I ordered the Lime Cilantro shrimp and he decided on Baja halibut tacos. Both were absolutely delicious! We especially liked the pesto risotto that came with my shrimp. Eventhough we planned on using the certificate, it seemed that 4 shrimp was a bit sparse, so we asked the owner if that was the usual amount served. He promptly brought us 2 more along with a small dish of the risotto. After a few more bites, Michael got up to go and compliment him on the food and service. While he was up, our waitress came by and told me that he had comped my meal! We will definitely be using our certificate next time, and probably soon. Why don't you come and visit and you can join us?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I am overwhelmed by this. It's not about immigration...immigration is completely beside the point that overwhelms me. What can we do?! I think I'm a caring person, but this just makes me want to...well honestly to get all I can while the gettin's good! Why not? No matter what I do, it will make no difference whatsoever. bleh. Well, if you know me at all, you know that's a bit pessimistic of me. But let's face it, the reality is just...well he did the math for us already!

OK back on to his subject of how to best help people, which I believe really is his subject, and he makes an excellent point. Maybe he does another talk about something called synergy, maybe not. So I'll tell you what. He does mention the idea of "brightening the corner where you are". You've seen it. Maybe at a concert when everyone lights their lighter, maybe at a Christmas Eve service where the flame is passed down the row to each candle. It's not just your little corner that's brightened. I don't know what the people in Washington D.C. or Santa Fe are going to decide from one day to the next; but I crave seeing people flourishing around me. I know you do too. There are only a few followers here, but we can start a glow around each of us that can reach across the street or around the world. Do something. Do anything. In the name of the billions.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My lazy night

I don't choose chooses me. I allow myself one night after work a week to completely veg out or just go to sleep, sometimes as early as 8:00. I've always been one who needs her sleep. A cousin asked me today, "What's your secret for staying so young looking?". Well, I don't know about looking - but for feeling young, to me there's nothing like a good night's sleep. I'm glad to know that it helps weight control, since I need to keep my weight down due to Type 2 diabetes.
It's been a busy week already for me. Besides my job, I've been approached to do some sewing after an online friend saw some of my work. Keeping in contact with friends and family who are in Tornado Alley, one who's about to lose her mother, and one whose husband is in the hospital, and keeping them in my prayers has been another part-time job. It's one that I love because I know that I can trust God with my loved ones. He's proven it to me many, many times. If you're reading this and you haven't started following me yet, I hope that you will. God has alot in store for you, it's always exciting, and I'd love to go on your journey with you.
Sweet dreams in the Father's arms.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Modern medicine

Michael has been through so many illnesses and surgeries since 1997, that he feels like a pincushion! Before his knee surgery today, I reminded him that if he were born 100 years ago, he'd be walking like Grandpa Amos McCoy. Remember him? In fact, he was walking like Grandpa the last week or so! We are truly thankful that even with all of the troubles of our world, medicine is advancing so rapidly.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Tomorrow Michael will pick up our first order from Los Poblanos Organics

Many of us are becoming concerned and informing ourselves about nutrition and food safety. We have our own little kitchen garden with some lettuce and spinach this year. Maybe our strawberries will begin to sprout soon. I love to use these in my healthy smoothies, which I've started to make since being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. They're really good for everyone! I recently discovered that the common day lily, every part of it is edible. I have one small one that should be spreading over the years, guaranteeing that we will never go hungry. How awesome is that?! The Creator has provided everything we need. The day lily is just one of those things. Check out for some great ideas as well as and to find out how some people are working to abolish hunger.

I'll let you know how the veggies are!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A New Direction

As you can see, I'm making a fresh start on my blog. I'd really like it to become a "place", not so much a page for friends old and new to come and share with me and with each other. I work stuck at a desk all day, and I've made some new online friends this year. Some I've met in person and some I have yet to. Until then, I want to at least stay connected in cyberspace. I know some exciting things will develop, because life is just...well, EXCITING! None of us knows exactly what the future holds, but I really hope we can go there together. It's so much more fun and satisfying with friends!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Matthew 5:40-41 (New King James Version)
40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.

From and "By handing over one's cloak in addition to one's tunic, the debtor has essentially given the shirt off their back, a situation directly forbidden by Hebrew Law as stated in Deuteronomy 24: 10-13:

When you make your neighbor a loan of any sort, you shall not enter his house to take his pledge. You shall remain outside, and the man to whom you make the loan shall bring the pledge out to you. If he is a poor man, you shall not sleep with his pledge. When the sun goes down you shall surely return the pledge to him, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you; and it will be righteousness for you before the LORD your God.
By giving the lender the cloak as well the debtor was reduced to nakedness. Public nudity was viewed as bringing shame on the viewer, not the naked, as evidenced in Genesis 9: 20-27:

Noah planted a vineyard; and he drank of the wine, and became drunk, and lay uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it upon both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father's nakedness.

41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

The succeeding verse from the Sermon on the Mount can similarly be seen as a method for making the oppressor break the law. The commonly invoked Roman law of Angaria allowed the Roman authorities to demand that inhabitants of occupied territories carry messages and equipment the distance of one mile post, but prohibited forcing an individual to go further than a single mile, at the risk of suffering disciplinary actions.[4] In this example, the nonviolent interpretation sees Jesus as placing criticism on an unjust and hated Roman law as well as clarifying the teaching to extend beyond Jewish law.[5] As a side effect this may also have afforded the early followers a longer time to minister to the soldier and or cause the soldier not to seek followers of Jesus to carry his equipment in the future so as not to be bothered with their proselytizing."

As you can see, neither of these actions are to be performed from the position of a victim or "doormat", but a purposeful, even shrewd standpoint which demonstrates righteousness and generosity.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What About Jesus?

Welcome back on track to Jesus...not that He ever left me when I went to Texas. Very much to the contrary...He definitely showed up! I'll have more to say about Tiger Lily Weekend soon.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:38-39 (NIV)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

My disclaimer is - This teaching of Jesus does NOT provide for personal abuse of other people. The complete teaching of this action includes the understanding of Jesus' position as a king, a partially political position, in that He came into our human, political world. Later, we'll see where He taught the Apostles to take a sword with them Here He is instructing them in a tactic (or is it a strategy?) of spiritual warfare. He is truly manifested as the Prince of Peace when you understand the context in which He speaks.

Following is an excerpt from about the recent protests in Egypt:

“Turning the other cheek” has been falsely portrayed as a passive and even submissive practice or strategy but nothing could be further from the truth.
An “eye for an eye” means countering violence with violence; as if this will resolve an issue. Why wouldn't the returned violence be returned again in turn? And so on ad infinitum? Yet this is the recipe preached by Judaism. How has it worked so far? It has worked extremely well for those with a vested interest in ever more violence, the psychopaths) but not for the rest of us. So let's look at the proposed alternative.

It is curious is it not that Jesus would specify the right cheek? It must have had significance for him to mention it. Most people then, as now, are right-handed and unless you are trained in the gentle art of boxing it is usual to strike someone with your right hand. So to strike someone on their right cheek with your right hand, you need to give them a 'backhander'. This is the strike of choice for superiors when dealing with people they consider to be inferior to them and insubordinate to boot. So this is the situation Jesus was teaching on; how to deal with evil people in power. When you turn the other cheek they cannot repeat the backhander, they have to punch you if they want to continue. The trouble for them then is that they lose their superior position, their perceived legitimacy, in the eyes of the audience and are reduced to brawling like common thugs. Which is what they are; thugs in fine clothes. This perceived legitimacy is crucial because any despot knows that the people en masse have the power and not him. Hence all the pomp and pageantry and all the police and military might to impress this idea of superior status and power onto the general populace. Power over others is ultimately an exercise in deceit.

Turning the other cheek is an act at once defiant and yet non-aggressive. It is in no way submissive. This action refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy or authority of the abusive power just as the people of Egypt have done. It does not accept the authority of the attack. It does not submit just like the Egyptians have not submitted. They have instead continued to demand that Mubarak's criminal behaviour cease and that he remove himself from his position of imposed privileged. They have pledged to stand there turning the other cheek until he does.

For more teaching that you probably never heard in Sunday School, see


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tiger Lily Weekend - 2011

Lu, whose idea it was to have us gather, suggested a name change in honor of our hostess and her family. Come to find out that their family signature flower is the Tiger here we are again, still smellin' as sweet as Magnolia blossoms in my memory of that initial bonding time together. Whether we meet in person again or not, as long as someone delivers mail, e- or snail-, I plan to keep on building those bonds.

Back to more of my friends...
Cindy Rhudy is the spunky, kind, fun-loving and hard-working director of Shiloh Home of Hope for Women in Emporia, Kansas and my roomie! She's also very tolerant and understanding if you snore. I DID warn her and offered earplugs, but she would only say, "Oh, I wasn't sleeping anyway." Let's just say that I've heard myself on recording snoring, and Grand Saline doesn't need me AND the train going by at night! Seriously, though, Cindy aka Coachmombabe is all that... lifecoach, Mom, Grandmom as well as singer, dancer before the Lord and cardmaker to her family and the women and babies who come Shiloh's way. We have much in common between us in dealing with crisis pregnancy, as I was a volunteer with our local CareNet Pregnancy Center for three years, and our family continues to support them financially. We also have the love of Sedona, Arizona in common, and almost got to meet a few weeks before Tiger Lily Weekend on her travels time, Cindy...and I'll follow along! By the way, Cindy continues to forge ahead as best she can while living with a quite frustrating physical condition.

Next, I'll tell you about Heather Hyde-Herndon aka Feathermaye. Heather learned of Cindy and Shiloh's need of a sewing machine and generously donated and had one shipped to Katie Belle for her to take back to Kansas. Had to toot your horn, Mz HHH! Heather also came to our weekend with the freshest loss. Most of us there had experienced some in the past couple of years; but she lost her Dad just a few weeks before. We were all happy to have her come anyway, and welcome her into our hearts and hugs, and hopefully render her some comfort. I know that we at least helped to take her mind away when we played a fun game, because she shined her talent at it! It's a storytelling game, and that's one of Heather's talents. In fact, she shares it with her husband and is soon going on a booksigning tour with him.
Heather is also a jewelry maker and is commissioned to make our daughter's wedding "hippie toes" barefootwear. Last weekend she just whipped up a cute pair of earrings for Lu to wear to our gourmet dinner on Saturday night. She also gifted us with some really cute and unique pendants. Thanks, Feathermaye!
Pics up top are (l to r) Lu, Heather and Cindy...and one of Heather and me "after" with her new cute!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Magnolia Weekend 2011

Began 2 weeks ago:
A week from tonight, I will be enjoying a girlie-girl play date with 7 women I have never met. It will be the 3rd night of my 5-day weekend. I had originally planned to go and meet my online friend for the first time face-to-face this time last year, but my sweet Mom got sick in January and passed away a year ago today.
I want to record my impressions of these friends for them and for you, and tell you a little about what we've "been through" together the last few years.
First acknowledgement goes to Yana Berlin, founder of It's the site where I first got to know most of these friends. My husband had been diagnosed with cancer just about the time I came across the site and jumped in to freely share my days' experiences with them. Yana won't be joining us, but I know that we are all sincerely grateful for what she created.
The fascinating hostess of our upcoming weekend was recognized as a truly kindred spirit...not because I'M so fascinating ;0), but simply because we had so much in common. Laurie is a unique and most gifted woman, a caring and passionate person who puts her heart and soul into everything she does. She is a heart-taught artist, musician, deft writer, instantaneous philanthropist and true believer in Jesus Christ, and is not ashamed to say so! She has transparently shared her gifts and her life with me and hundreds (probably thousands) of others over the last few years through her website, her online radio show and her generosity. She is a wise and loving mother, wife, sister and daughter, and I am proud to call her my friend and sister in Christ.

Then there is Lu(cinda)...former member of the radio industry who graciously agreed to produce and co-host Laurie's online show. Lu has rubbed shoulders with lots of famous people, but what impresses me about her is that she is so in love with her husband and family. She possesses a fierce wit, and is still hard-working and dedicated to what she does...when I first met her, a candle maker, Her newest venture is Travelling Teaparties for Girls.
Ruby is a sometimes deep and always sharp blogger to adults. Her use of metaphor, simile and humour noir is a force to be reckoned with. Living with her disability while raising her sons on her own has made my admiration for her increase with every post I read. If you are sick and tired of PC communication, she's your girl! Please visit her and if so inclined, and as she says..."Help a cripple" by clicking donate to her Paypal account.

I'm home now, and I can tell this is gonna need to be posted in more than one post.
I have WAAAAAY too much to say!

Friday, February 18, 2011

What About Jesus?

Matthew 5:33 Again, you have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not swear falsely, but you shall perform your oaths to the Lord [as a religious duty].

34But I tell you, Do not bind yourselves by an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is the throne of God;

35Or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.(H)

36And do not swear by your head, for you are not able to make a single hair white or black.

37Let your Yes be simply Yes, and your No be simply No; anything more than that comes from the evil one.(I)

From Biblegateway Commentary:

Oaths Are a Poor Substitute for Integrity
When Jesus quotes his Bible as prohibiting false vows and other oaths (Deut 23:23), he probably also has in view the Ten Commandments, as in Matthew 5:21, 27. In this case he alludes to the third commandment: a false oath "misuses" or takes in vain God's name, since oaths by definition called on a deity to witness them (Ex 20:7). Breaking an oath was dangerous, for in all societies oaths contained curses that deities would avenge if the person who swore by them broke the oath. The Bible's point in prohibiting false oaths, however, was that one should tell the truth and keep one's promises. The Hebrew Bible approved of some oaths and vows (as in Num 5:19-22; 6:2), but Jesus again summons us beyond the law's letter to its intention. His own point is not so much that oaths are evil as that the motivation for engaging in them is; one should simply tell the truth (Mt 5:37).

Although Jesus' position on oaths is not wholly unique, it was rare enough to be distinctive. Although some Jewish teachers warned against customary oath-taking, nearly all accepted oath-taking as valid; in daily life, it was surely common in the marketplace. Some groups of Essenes may have avoided oaths altogether (Jos. War 2.135), except for their initiatory oath for joining the sect (Jos. War 2.139-42; see also 1QS 5.8). Josephus declares that one could trust an Essene's word more than an oath, however (War 2.135); Philo indicates that their abstention from oaths declared their commitment to truth (Every Good Man Free 84; also Vermes 1993:35). Jesus and the Essenes probably intended the same as Pythagoras: let your word carry such conviction that you need not call deities to witness (Diog. Laert. 8.1.22; compare Philo Spec. Leg. 2.2; Isoc. Nic. 22, Or. 2).

The point of this passage is integrity. Jesus observes that since God witnesses every word we say anyway, we should be able to tell the truth without having to call God to witness by a formal oath. Jesus is addressing a popular abuse of oaths in his day. To protect the sanctity of the divine name against inadvertent oath-breaking, common Jewish practice introduced surrogate objects by which to swear (Vermes 1993:34-35). Some people apparently thought it harmless to deceive if they swore oaths by something like their right hand (t. Nedarim 1:1; cf. Jos. War 2.451). The further removed the oath was from the actual name of God, the less danger they faced for violating it (Schiffman 1983:137-38; E. Sanders 1990:53-54). Jewish teachers had to arbitrate which oaths were actually binding as allusions to God's name (m. Sebi`it 4.13; see also CD 15.1-5). Jesus teaches that all oaths invoke God's witness equally. Just as heaven, earth (Is 66:1-2) and Jerusalem (Ps 48:2; Mt 4:5; 27:53) belong to God (Mt 5:34-35), so do the hairs on our heads (5:36); although we can dye our hair, we have no genuine control over its aging (compare 6:27). All oaths implicitly call God to witness, because everything that exists was made by him. For Jesus, no aspect of life except sin is purely secular.

Avoiding oaths is thus inadequate; the issue is telling the truth, because God witnesses every word we speak. Although many passages in the Bible allow some degree of deception to preserve life (Keener 1991a:22), such exceptions are rare in our daily lives. When we lie to cover our own wrong motives from those we think would disdain us, we forget that one day God will expose all the secrets of our hearts anyway (Mt 10:26). When we lightly commit ourselves to meet people at particular times and then unnecessarily delay them (as if their time were a commodity less precious than our own), we treat them unjustly and deceitfully, even if in a relatively minor way. How much more when we make promises in business deals or make still more lasting vows (such as the marriage covenant-5:31-32).

Making vows (promises) to God lightly is a severe offense (compare Acts 5:1-11). Although Jesus' first followers continued to call on God to witness the truth of some of their statements, apparently taking Jesus' words as rhetorical overstatement (examples appear in Rom 1:9; 9:1; Gal 1:20), they seem to have refrained from more overt oaths (2 Cor 1:17; Jas 5:12). Oaths that invite penalties on oneself for violating them ("cross my heart and hope to die") are unnecessary for people of truth.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What about Jesus

Oh boy! Maybe I'll get some comments on this one!

Amplified version: "31It has also been said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.

32But I tell you, Whoever dismisses and repudiates and divorces his wife, except on the grounds of unfaithfulness (sexual immorality), causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a woman who has been divorced commits adultery.(G)"

My thoughts are the same as I've had for a while now...marriage and divorce aren't just about a piece of paper. That saying cuts both ways. The NIV calls the poor, discarded woman (I think Jesus would say spouse now, since women have become more like men than ever!) a "victim" of adultery. The faithful divorced one has been ruined, spoiled, physically and emotionally, by the selfish one, making it difficult to impossible to ever have a healthy loving relationship again. Any faithful spouse knows that, like Jesus said, to even entertain the thought of committing adultery produces some guilt even in a non-believer. A true believer and lover may be tempted with a thought, but will experience Holy Spirit conviction, making it feel like a saddening shock. Most married people have experienced sadness and loneliness of unmet expectations in our spouses eventhough we have that marriage license. Emotional divorce is real divorce according to Jesus; and He's saying that the faithful heart makes a true marriage. A divorce decree comes much too little and too late.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What About Jesus?

27You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.(F)

28But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

29If your right eye serves as a trap to ensnare you or is an occasion for you to stumble and sin, pluck it out and throw it away. It is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be cast into hell (Gehenna).

30And if your right hand serves as a trap to ensnare you or is an occasion for you to stumble and sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better that you lose one of your members than that your entire body should be cast into hell (Gehenna).

Ya think the Lord felt pretty strongly about "evil desire"? Consider the culture He was born into...Roman hedonism surrounded, infiltrated and lured. This was not new in history. Maybe He was trying to tell them that, as blatant as the Romans and others were in their sin, it all began in the heart. His ways of the heart are higher than our ways eventhough they may be simpler and more innocent. How could they (and we) shine as the light of the world unless they demonstrated the ability He gave them to remain set apart?

Monday, January 17, 2011

What about Jesus?

Matthew 5:21-25 (Amplified Bible)
21You have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not kill, and whoever kills shall be [a]liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court.(A)

22But I say to you that everyone who continues to be [b]angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be [c]liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be [d]liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, You [e]cursed fool! [You empty-headed idiot!] shall be [f]liable to and unable to escape the hell (Gehenna) of fire.

23So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you,

24Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift.

25Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way traveling with him, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.

So...Jesus has already said that He came to fulfill the law. There is controversy about whether the word He uses here is "kill" as in the military sense or "murder" as in the personal or individual sense or motivation. When we continue on with what Jesus says after stating the commandment, I think it becomes pretty clear that He's not even addressing physical death, but drawing a comparison that more people are all too familiar with. Some of us may know someone who has murdered or been murdered; but I would guess that the majority of us Americans don't personally know a whole lot. And why would He mention punishment imposed by a court if the word was "kill" in the military sense? The fact is that it's a soldier's job to kill. The content of His teaching relates to something else altogether. Does anyone else realize the importance Jesus is placing on the verbal treatment of others; and is anyone up for a little friendly discussion?

Here's something to think's been said that it takes 5 positive comments to a person to wipe out the harmful effects of 1 negative one.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What about Jesus?

17"Do not think that I came to abolish the (V)Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

18"For truly I say to you, (W)until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

19"Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least (X)in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20"For I say to you that unless your (Y)righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Does this concern anyone? Please weigh in on your understanding of it or any questions it raises.

Monday, January 10, 2011

What About Jesus?

Last week, there was yet another violent attack here in the "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave". It makes even someone with the spiritual gift of faith just want to pack it all in, head for the hills, or at least the relative safety of home, and hunker down. That wouldn't be freedom, nor would it be courage.

Skipping ahead to something outside today's wisdom from Jesus, He said that He came to give us life - abundant life. His comparison of us here in Matthew 5 to salt, concerns a couple of things. Salt is a preservative and a flavor enhancer. For my majority carnivorous friends, try to imagine life without any fresh meat. I can only guess that even the most Spartan vegetarian likes a little extra flavor on their celery. If you are not a follower of Jesus and His teachings, I'd like to challenge you to imagine your world without anyone you know who honestly tries to. Would it possibly be rotten, tasteless, depressing, boring? Maybe you don't know anyone all that intimately; but could it maybe add some abundance to your life to spend some time getting to know them better?

This latest violent tragedy and the blabbering, blaming and bull surrounding it gives me a visual of a bunch of people stuck in a room with no light, trying to find the way out. At the same time, I can picture several beacons - flashing neons, an "exit" sign, a candle flame - and the doors each one illuminates; but which one really leads to freedom and fearlessness? With the last few years' terrors, some personal, some global, have you tried the same door or doors to get out of the dark? Have you avoided the "seasoning" offered by some Jesus follower for the staleness or sadness in your life?

Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What About Jesus?

First, I want you to share my excitement! I met a Facebook friend for the first time in actual "face" time today. What a pleasure she is! She stood out from the FB "crowd"...actually, her husband did first; and then I connected with her. We've had some interesting discussions online. Since her hubz works in another state and only comes home about once a month, I didn't get to meet him yet. Hopefully, Michael and I will both get to do so in the near future.

Sub question:

Have you ever said, "I am blessed!"?

Matthew 5
1SEEING THE crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him.
2Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

3Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, with a [d]happiness produced by the experience of God's favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace;[a]to be envied, and [b]spiritually prosperous--[c]with life-joy and in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

4Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted

5Blessed are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

6Blessed and fortunate and happy and [g]spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God [h]enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be [i]completely satisfied!

7Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!(D)

9Blessed are the makers and [s]maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

10Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

11Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

12Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. [II Chron. 36:16.]

The Beatitudes are usually taught from the perspective of "How-to" be happy. Notice that there were crowds, then Jesus "went up on a mountain". Then, "his disciples came to him" this talk was not to the crowds. What do you typically see in a large crowd? People trying to remain anonymous, being irritable or downright nasty, pushing, shoving, trying to have their own way? Not always; but I wonder if Jesus was trying to help his disciples learn to identify His children? There's a saying..."people need loving the most when they deserve it the least." Then, He even switches from using the pronouns "they" and "theirs" to "you". Just a bit of different slant. Have the Beatitudes been life-changing for anyone?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Jesus Calls His First Disciples
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus Heals the Sick
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,[g] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Was Jesus so irresistable that James and John were already under His control, or did they have a choice in following Him? Keep in mind, we know that not everyone followed Him. What about those we know who are not following Him today? What about you?

One commentary says that "surely" the people "did not bring all who were ill, etc. in Syria". Anyone care to give us some Greek or Aramaic translation and/or comments?